I'd been ignoring/overlooking/excusing/in denial about Boris for many weeks now. The reality is he never really "got better" after his hospital stay in June. Oh, he ate with gusto and some days seemed much like his old self, but never gained any weight, and other days he was obviously an old cat who just wanted to sleep. His kidneys continued to fail. And now I'm looking back and seeing a lot of issues I blithely ignored, because I couldn't face dealing with them. Like his new habit of peeing in madly inappropriate places. Like odd behaviors that were like he was in a sort of second kittenhood - suddenly I couldn't turn my back or he'd be eating uncovered leftovers in the kitchen. And yet more peeing in the house, and the constipation came back, and when he was weighed today, yes, he'd lost even more weight, and that's even with the ounces impacted in his poor old colon. But still he purred.
This weekend I could see he was feeling awful - I half-joked that the day he didn't start demanding dinner at 3 in the afternoon I'd know he was at the end. Yesterday he huddled on the couch and didn't move until everybody else asked for dinner much later. He did eat, though, and looked perkier after. He'd started sleeping in bed with the family again, and though he looked weak as hell and didn't spend much time on his feet, I could still see the old Boris in there.
This morning I woke up and staggered to the kitchen in the dark, and sniffed - I smelled the faint odor of his kidney failure pee. Kidney failure pee is not like normal cat pee, and very, very watery and nearly odorless, but it has a faint smell. I got my first cup of coffee and started looking for a puddle - checked the floors, the corners - nothing. Drank my first cup of coffee in the living room and returned to the kitchen for a refill. Still smelling that faint pee smell....started looking further.
My kitchen countertop is very shiny granite. That's why I didn't see the thin sheen of liquid until I touched it.
A line had been crossed here. I excused and cleaned up a lot of stuff in the last few weeks, but a lake of watery pee on my kitchen counter finally forced me to LOOK at the condition of this cat. I spent a good long time cleaning my kitchen with antibacterial cleaners, and sat for a while, feeling so damn depressed. Then I called the vet, which blessedly has Sunday afternoon hours. They were all booked up, but told me to bring him in anyway. They know us there.
The vet was so kind - she took her time with both of us, petting him, discussing his condition, but ultimately it was my call to make. And I sat in that room for over an hour, petting him and telling him to for God's Sake Quit PURRING at Me!
He was nearly 15 years old. He was in kidney failure. It was not going to improve. He had a second attack of a severely impacted colon, which requires sedation and enemas to clean out, and could recur again in two weeks even if we did. His weight continued to drop, and he was now less than half his healthy, robust adult weight, and was basically a skeleton in mangy gray fur. Treating him wasn't working, and would just be a crapshoot of testing to see if he could be improved, but nothing was going to reverse those failing kidneys.
So I signed the paper, they gave him the first shot and left me with him to say goodbye, and I sat with him and petted him until he was in oblivion.
My silly, funny Boris is reunited with his smart, sassy sister Natasha. She'll look after him again, just as she always did.